“And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” – Acts 1:9 (ESV)
The Object of Your Gaze
In Little League baseball, I remember wearing No. 11 for the Cincinnati Reds. The day we got our jerseys, we all went back to our houses and looked up the Reds roster to figure out what player our number corresponded with. I pulled up the roster. No. 11. Barry Larkin. Shortstop.
On that day, I fell in love with Barry Larkin.
I remember my parents taking me to a Reds game that year in Cincinnati. I sat in the stands, wearing my Reds hat, Reds sunglasses, and my Barry Larkin mock jersey, carefully analyzing every move he made—at shortstop, at the plate, in the dug out, everything.
What does it mean to gaze? I love the word “gaze.” It exudes awe and wonder and speechlessness, like when I saw someone like Barry Larkin practicing his craft.
Sometimes I try to put myself in the apostles’ shoes. What would I do? What would I do as my risen Savior floated into the clouds, completely defying every law of nature and every logical thing my mind can grasp? What would I do?
I’m trying to gaze at the Lord a little more. I want to bask in his magnitude and mystery, speechless in his manifested presence, attracting his presence through righteous, holy and intentional living.
— STEPHEN COPELAND
(Photo Credit: Frank Pierson)